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Paralegal

There is nothing routine about a paralegal career. On any given day, you could be conducting legal research, drafting pleadings and motions, drawing up contracts, attending depositions, preparing for hearings – the list goes on. Paralegals are in high demand for professionals with comprehensive legal skill sets.

At Midland College (MC), the Associate of Applied Science for Paralegal is designed to give you job-ready skills, hone your expertise and let you stand out from the competition. Your career success will be built on a foundation in ethics, critical thinking, and solid general legal knowledge – setting the stage for an exciting future.

Specific areas of training include legal research and writing, case screening and evaluation, civil litigation, probate administration, office management, accounting, servicing and filing of legal documents, and preparation of legal forms.

At MC, students in the paralegal program have the option of either an Associate of Applied Science degree, consisting of 60 semester credit hours that can be completed in two years, or a Beginning Legal Technician Certificate, consisting of 18 semester credit hours that can be completed within one year. Either way, you will study subjects like Business Law, Wills & Estates, Family Law, Civil Litigation, Oil & Gas, Interviewing & Investigation and Legal Research & Writing.

 

Paralegal reviewing legal documents Laptop, papers, pen, and reading glasses on a desk Paralegal reading a book in a library

Marketable Skills

With the Associate of Applied Science for Paralegal, the student will be able to demonstrate the following marketable skills:

  • Reading Comprehension – Reading work-related information
  • Active Listening – Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • Speaking – Talking to others
  • Writing – Writing things for co-workers or customers
  • Critical Thinking – Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem

Career Opportunities

As with most areas, Paralegal careers begin with entry-level positions that lead to career advancement as your experience and expertise grow. Your services will be vital in civil litigation firms, family law offices, the district attorney’s office, criminal defense firms or land offices. There are a number of in-demand career possibilities including:

  • Legal Research Assistants
  • Business Developments
  • Court Coordinators
  • Mediators
  • Legal Secretaries
  • Brokerage Clerks
  • Billing, Cost and Rate Clerks - District and County Clerk’s Office
  • Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
  • Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks
  • Eligibility Interviewers for Government Programs
  • Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers
  • Tax Examiners, Collectors, and Revenue Agents
  • Municipal Clerks
  • Tax Preparers

Demand

According to the American Bar Association, there are more than 1.1 million attorneys currently practicing law in the United States and about 40,000 new graduates emerging from the nation’s law schools every year. Whether they work in small practices, large firms, corporations, government or other entities, virtually every lawyer relies on the help of paralegals. At Midland College, you can become one of these highly valued professionals.

As a paralegal graduate, you will qualify to work under the supervision of a lawyer. Your career options are not limited to a law office, but also include corporate legal departments, law schools, public and private agencies, and local, state, and the federal government.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says the employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills have the best job prospects.

Permian Basin Paralegal Association’s Andree Rosen Scholarship

$500 offered each Fall and Spring semester to one student maintaining a 3.0 GPA who is currently enrolled in the Paralegal program.

Midland Legal Secretaries Scholarship

$300 per semester for any second year Legal Assistant AAS degree seeker with a GPA of 3.0 or better who carries 9+ credit hours.

Contact Program Chair for details, and create an AcademicWorks account to be considered.

Apply for General Scholarships through the Financial Aid Portal

How to Apply

  1. Login to your My MC Portal
  2. Click the Students tab
  3. Click the "Financial Aid Portal" link
  4. Under Log In, provide your Social Security Number and password. If you do not have a password, click the "First Time User" link at the bottom-right and follow prompts.

For additional general scholarship details and deadlines, visit the General Scholarships page.

General Scholarships

Missing the "Financial Aid Portal" link?

To have access to the Financial Aid portal and apply for scholarships, the student's FAFSA application must be on file with MC Financial Aid.

If the students FAFSA application is not on file with MC Financial Aid, the student must fill out the FAFSA application first and once processed, will be able to complete the general scholarship application.

FAFSA Information

Visit the course catalog for the most complete and up-to-date information.

 

Student Success Stories

CRYSTAL RAY, 2014

Crystal Ray came to Midland, Texas from Bakersfield, California. In 2010, Crystal started attending Midland College’s Paralegal Program so she could provide a better future for herself and her family. While working full-time she attended classes at night and her employer was allowed her to attend classes during the day. She graduated with an Associates of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies in May of 2014 with a 3.7 GPA. In December 2014 Crystal began working at Cotton, Bledsoe, Tighe & Dawson, P.C. starting out as a floater and receptionist, and shortly thereafter was promoted to legal secretary. Within 6 months she was promoted to paralegal. In 2016, after studying hard, she sat for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) paralegal certification exam and is currently awaiting results. 

Bethany Banta, 2015

Bethany Banta graduated with a Beginning Legal Technician Certificate and an Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies in December of 2015. Upon graduation she was hired as a legal secretary at McKinney & Tighe. She is currently studying for the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) paralegal certification exam in hopes of becoming a certified Paralegal.

Mona Keller

Mona Keller was born and raised in Midland, Texas. When she started the Midland College Paralegal Program, she started out as a full-time student with a part-time job. In 2011, while on an assignment for her Interviewing and Investigating class, she interviewed a Certified Paralegal and two local attorneys who offered her a job as a receptionist for their firm. Mona stayed in that position for one year while continuing to attend classes, as well as training under a Certified Paralegal. Mona worked for two local law firms while attending Midland College and received her Beginning Legal Technician Certificate. She currently works as a Paralegal for Long-Weaver, Manning, Antus & Antus. She currently sits on the Paralegal Association of the Permian Basin Board, and has for the past four years. She has been a volunteer with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas for the past five years, and continues to do so as the law and helping others has become her passion.

 

 

 

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Thank you for choosing Midland College! If you are here to collect a few credits, take courses to transfer, or here to start a new career, we welcome you.

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